The Chargers currently sit at an abysmal 1-3 record. Chargers fans all around the world are used to the Bolts blowing leads and not being clutch when it matters most, but this season takes on a whole new level of the word “disaster.”
Essentially speaking, for every lead they have blown thus far (three) they have had major injuries. Just to name a few key players that were going to help this team compete this season, Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen, Manti Te’o and Jason Verrett have all suffered season-ending injuries and its only Week 5.
So, to say that this season isn’t a rose garden in heaven is an understatement. However, I feel like these next two games can entirely make or break what the Chargers want to do this season. Facing the Raiders this Sunday in Oakland and the Broncos on a short week will be one of the biggest two-game stretches of games the Chargers have had in recent memory.
In the past 13 division games dating back to the start of the 2014 season, the Bolts are a lousy 2-11. That pair of wins coming from a sweep of the Raiders in 2014. Other than that, the Chargers could now easily be considered the little brother in the AFC West. The 2015 season in particular stands out the most because they just continuously kept getting pummeled.
The Raiders dominated the Chargers in their first meeting in 2015 at Qualcomm, much like the Chargers were doing to the Chiefs Week 1 of this year. The difference in those games? The Raiders didn’t fold completely and let the Chargers back into the game, as that game ended in a Chargers’ loss, 37-29. A couple of games later they hosted the Chiefs in a game where they failed to find the endzone. In fact, they failed to find the endzone in both meetings last year against the Chiefs and in one meeting against the Broncos.
Everything seemed to be different this year, as the Chargers literally bolted out to a 21-3 lead at the half. Well, we all know what a big lead meant at that point when you have Mike McCoy: a blown lead. The Chargers failed to get into the endzone in the second half of that game and gave us all flashes of last year while the Chiefs came all the way back to tie the game up on a two-minute drill drive aided by a very poor punt from the Bolts that gave the Chiefs life around midfield. The Bolts got hit with a double whammy that game, as their star receiver Keenan Allen went down with a torn ACL forcing him to miss the entire season.
Sunday, they face the Raiders at O.Co Coliseum. While the Raiders will most likely be without recently emerging Latavius Murray, the Chargers will also be without a stud of their own in Jason Verrett.
Just a couple of days ago, the Bolts learned that Verrett had been playing with a partial tear in his ACL. He underwent tests and, like Keenan, is now out for the rest of the season. This injury is devastating to an already banged up secondary.
Brandon Flowers is dealing with a concussion and Craig Mager is also banged up. It’s most likely going to be the Cooper and Crabtree show, and if they can’t get some magic going of their own on offense, they could be in for a very long day and an even longer week.
Now, if you can develop a consistent pass rush on the quarterback, it could in some cases make the most average corners look elite. It looks like the Chargers are getting major reinforcements in that department, as Damion Square’s four-game suspension is up and the God, Joey Bosa, is making his NFL debut. Though both will most likely be on limited snap counts, it still helps the defense immensely.
While Oakland’s offense has been great this year, ranking 4th in the league in total yards with 392 yards per game, the Chargers are no slouch. Even though they are ranked 14th in the league, their offense is scoring a scorching 30 point per game. Both defenses could be better as the Raiders are ranked 31st in the league and the Chargers are 20th. If the Chargers want to have a shot at taking control of this game and creating serious momentum, they are going to have to get Melvin Gordon going. While he has scored a TD in every game including two in Week 1, the run game has taken a dip in production in the yardage department. After totaling 305 rushing yards through the first two weeks, the Bolts got slowed down to just a measly 75 yards in the last two games against two of the worst rush defenses in the Saints and Colts.
It can be argued that Derek Carr is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league this year, posting a blistering TD/INT ratio of 9 to 1 and having a 104.6 QB rating while completing almost 60% of his passes. He’s been great for the Raiders and, without a doubt, clutch on a couple of game-winning drives. The Chargers must make him feel uncomfortable right out of the gates. Bosa will play a key part in this game. Although he could very well struggle in the early parts of the game, his athleticism and length will draw double teams at some point, giving other players like Jeremiah Attaochu, Corey Liuget and Melvin “Supa Mel” Ingram one-on-ones.
This game should come down to the last couple of minutes. The outcome of the game will be determined by who punts the ball more and who gets more turnovers. I can honestly see the Chargers winning this game as long as they play their own game. Keep scoring, don’t take your foot off the gas, get some stops on defense and come away with a huge upset. Easier said than done.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, things don’t get easier. They have a short week and host the Broncos on TNF next week. So while coming away with both wins would be monumentally huge for the team going forward, it’s a daunting task that the team has to step up to and be willing to face head on. This Broncos’ defense is scary. You don’t have to check out stats to know who Von Miller, Chris Harris and Aqib Talib are. They anchor a fast, young, ball-hungry crew that almost is a lock to score a defensive touchdown every game. They only give up around 170 passing yards per game. They have an excellent secondary benefited by a great pass rush, which is the recipe for success as they are 4-0. It’s not too far-fetched to say the Bolts can grab one of these wins, because when you have Philip Rivers, you are truly never counted out of any game until the clock hits :00.
The Chargers are 0-2 on the road this season, but I believe they should win this Sunday at the Raiders. That will prove to be a small spark to what can be fireworks next Thursday.
Oh yeah, have you guys seen those Color Rush unis?!? They are to DIE for!! Possibly my favorite looking unis I have ever seen over all sports.
So, tell me and let me know what you guys feel or think about this hell week coming up. Can the Chargers end their 0-9 drought against their division, or will it turn to 0-11 by next Thursday?
Anything can happen on any given day. If there is one thing we can all agree with, it’s that the Chargers are the hardest team to predict how they’re gonna play or what’s going to happen. It makes it hard to predict but I will take a whack at it.
I say the Chargers lose a tight contest to the Raiders by the score of 35-31, with the defense having an opportunity to stop the Raiders and give the ball back to the Chargers’ offense to finish it off. They’ll come up short, however, they will rebound at home and look good while doing it with a 27-17 win against the Broncos.
When the average football fan thinks about the best quarterbacks currently in the league, they acknowledge Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees as the best in the NFL, and understandably so. But why does Philip Rivers continue to get overlooked? Why can’t he be considered a top-5 or even top-3 signal caller?
Or can he?
It goes without saying that the quarterback position is the most important position in football. Rarely do you see teams succeed without quality quarterback play.
Take the Broncos and Manning last season as an example. The Broncos’ defense was great. Statistically, Peyton had the worst season of his career and had a below average playoffs. But his leadership qualities and his football-genius mind was enough to lead the Broncos to a title (which still haunts me). If you were to put any other QB that had that kind of season that wasn’t Peyton, the Broncos don’t have a Championship right now. Having a quarterback who can take full command of the offense and be trusted day-in and day-out to lead your team to a victory no matter what the scenario is, should be treasured.
Philip Rivers is the embodiment of leadership.
In 2004, the Chargers selected Eli Manning with their 1st overall pick in the draft. However, Eli made it clear he did not want to play for the Chargers. Three picks later, the Giants picked Philip with the 4th pick and the teams managed to come to an agreement that included the Giants getting Eli and, in exchange, the Chargers got Rivers, a 2005 first-rounder which turned into Shawne Merriman, and a 2005 fifth-round pick in which the Chargers traded to Tampa for offensive tackle Roman Oben.
The Chargers were then stuck with a tough decision following the 2005 season: should they go with Drew Brees or Rivers as the team’s quarterback. The choice was obvious in Rivers, as Brees had injury concerns due to a shoulder ailment suffered at the end of the previous season.
In 2006, Rivers’ first full season as the starter under center, he took full advantage of the promotion, throwing 22 touchdowns with nine interceptions and 3,388 yards. Impressive, right? What’s more impressive is the 14-2 record the Chargers produced. Now, of course they benefitted from a historic year from LaDainian Tomlinson, but that is still quite a welcoming to the league for him.
Philip has had a great career in San Diego. There can be endless arguments made as to whether or not quarterbacks like Big Ben, Brady, Rodgers, et cetera are to be considered better than No. 17, having more successful careers even though some of them have benefitted from having great defenses, numerous groupings of clutch players and, most importantly, great coaching.
Philip also has a trait that only he and Eli stand up atop the list among active QBs for… DURABILITY. Including the playoffs, Rivers has started 169 consecutive games. That’s 10 full seasons and nine games of another. When you put into perspective that he tore his ACL against the Colts in the 2007 playoffs and came back in the AFC championship after surgery to play, it tells you a lot about the toughness and leadership he wields.
Another gritty performance that is framed in my mind is in 2014 in the latter half of the year. Philip was dealing with back spasms against the 49ers. He led a furious comeback win in overtime despite having a bum back. Health or off-the-field issues have never been a problem for Rivers.
It goes without saying that Rivers isn’t the best QB in terms of rings or playoff wins. Now that being said, he brings one quality that next to nobody can match, and that is competitiveness. It doesn’t matter if you’re a punter, water boy or 330-pound defensive lineman, Philip will always be in your face. Even if he’s having an off-game, his mouth is always running. The heart and devotion he pours into the Chargers isn’t comparable to any others. The energy Rivers brings to the team is both fierce and contagious. He’s able to develop chemistry with his players exceptionally well,which is evidenced in his relationships with players such as Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen and, obviously, Antonio Gates.
In 2013 against the Denver Broncos on TNF, the Chargers took the 11-2 Broncos down at Mile High. This performance had to have been my favorite; not only because of what proved to be a very crucial game in an improbable Chargers’ playoff run, but because Rivers handled it like it was just another day at the office. He was out there as competitive as ever, having a good time.
Being a huge fan of Brady, a fan of Brees since the SD days, liking Rodgers cause he’s a surgeon while slinging the rock, I still feel confident in saying that none of the aforementioned signal callers can match Philip’s intensity. That is a really good thing going into this season, because this is a sneaky good team on both sides of the ball.
If Philip can get these young rookies’ heads on straight quickly, this team can be very scary. I truly stand by my opinion when I say the resurgence of Melvin Gordon and the O-Line staying healthy will give Rivers the opportunity to cement his status as a top-3 QB this year. As long as this roster continues to gel and get better, he should have multiple shots at championships, and that might be the only thing separating him from being thrown into the mix with everyone else’s favorite quarterbacks.
Rivers is currently 14th all-time on the passing list with 41,447 yards, and can move into 7th or 8th with a 4,500-yard-plus campaign. He also has 281 passing TDs, which is ranked 11th in NFL history; having as little as 20-25 touchdowns this could move him up three or four spots. All of this is incredible when you realize that he didn’t start for the first two years of his career.
In comparing him to another Chargers great, Dan Fouts, let’s take a look on how their stats match up.
Fouts had a 14-year career in San Diego ranging from 1973-1987. Philip has been in the league for 12 years now, so their stats should match up similarly, right? Well, in terms of durability, they’re both as reliable as super glue for a school project. Fouts played in 181 games in his career and started 171, while Philip has played in 164 and started 160.
A lot of people consider accuracy to be the main ingredient in selecting a QB. While Fouts does have roughly 2,000 more career passing yards — 43,040– than Rivers — 41,447 — while his accuracy is far worse. In fact, Philip makes Fouts look little league when I researched each of their completion percentages.
Rivers boasts a 281-135 touchdown-to-interception ratio, while as Fouts holds a 254-242 ratio. Rivers’ career completion percentage of 64.8 is exactly 6% points higher than that of Fouts (58.8%). Total QBR — Quarterback rating — is another stat in which Philip takes a dominant lead on Fouts. Philip clocks in with a whopping 95.5 QBR compared to Fouts’ number of 80.2.
In terms of records, Philip also grabs the crown. Rivers has piled up a 92-68 record and Fouts had 86-84-1 record. Fouts does have an MVP award and one more Pro-Bowl nod than Rivers, six to five, respectively.
In 1993, Fouts was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Rivers still has a couple of years or so to grab every possible passing statistic in Chargers history and, furthermore, climb up the NFL’s all-time passing ranks. So in that theory, I very much expect Philip to be a sure-lock for the Hall Of Fame.
Now, lets take a look and compare his stats to his fellow 2004 draftees, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
While you can easily say that both of them have the easy edge over Rivers by having 2 rings, that doesn’t define one player as a whole. I did some research and noted that both Ben and Eli started the year they were drafted. Philip did not start a game until the 2006 season. But what shocks me most is that Philip isn’t too far behind in stats and, in fact, had the same kind of seasons, if not better seasons, the years Ben and Eli won their respective rings.
We can look at Eli’s numbers first. In 2007, the year the Giants made history and took down the Patriots, Eli’s stat-line finished with 23 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 3,336 yards and a 56.1 completion percentage. Philip had almost identical numbers that season with 21 touchdowns 15 interceptions, 3,152 yards and a 60.1 completion percentage. You could even make a case that had Philip not torn his ACL those playoffs, that Chargers-Patriots game would have finished with a different victor.
Next, let’s touch base on Big Ben’s 2008 championship season.
Roethlisberger’s stat-line for that year included 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 3,301 yards and a 59.9 completion percentage. Now, at the end of the day, he won a ring, but Philip’s 2008 season was far superior. In fact, that could’ve been Philip’s best year stat-wise, despite the Bolts finishing 8-8. He produced 34 touchdowns to just 11 Interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.5, boasting an outstanding QB rating of 105.5.
Has Philip had the success both Eli and Ben have had in terms of winning rings? No. Has he put his team on his back more and given his teammates more opportunities to win? Certainly.
Philip currently ranks behind both of them on the all-time leaderboards for passing. Rivers is ranked 14th behind Ben by about 1,500 yards, and is behind Eli — 11th — by roughly 3,000.
In my honest opinion, I believe when it’s all said and done, he’ll be above both of them. Additionally, he’s 11th on the passing TDs leaderboard — in front of Ben by nine touchdowns and behind Eli by 13.
Taking these facts and stats into consideration, the rings weigh a huge amount in terms of Philip not getting the credit he deserves.
So, while there might a small strain of bias on my part, I ensure you that Philip is everything I have made him out to be in this article, and everything he’s proven via the numbers provided above. He’s a franchise QB, a positive role model on and off the field and a rare leader, competitor and talent that you won’t come across very often. It is also worth noting, he’s a damn good dresser. You can never go wrong with rattlesnake-skin boots and a bolo tie.
I encourage you all to tune into some Chargers games this season and check him out and let me know what you think.
Where does Philip rank on your list? Let me know in the comment section below.
The one thing that really held the Chargers back last season was the offensive line. With King Dunlap, Chad Rinehart, five different centers, Johnny Troutman, and D.J. Fluker all a part of the offensive front, Philip Rivers was sacked 37 times and hit 75 times. The running game wasn’t much better, as the Chargers ranked 30th in rushing yards in 2014. Their number one priority this offseason? Solidify the line. Well, Tom Telesco has started to do just that.
New Additions: Orlando Franklin, OG/OT from the Denver Broncos. At 6’7″, 320 pounds, he is an absolute monster. Place him next to Fluker, or Dunlap, and you have one side of the line fixed. He was ranked 2nd highest of all guards in 2014 with a 98.6 pass blocking efficiency. He may not play tackle anymore, but he is an instant upgrade over both guards the Bolts had last season.
Re-signing of King Dunlap: The Bolts have re-signed Dunlap, who, in my opinion, was as important to the team as Brandon Flowers. He signed a 4-year, $28 million contract a few weeks ago. Dunlap, 29, had one of the best seasons of his careers. The King solidifies the left tackle spot and makes Rivers’ blind side well protected.
Who the Chargers should target in the draft: There is still one big hole on the line, and that is who is playing right tackle/right guard? Will D.J. Fluker get one more year to prove he can play the position of right tackle? Or will they shift him inside to right guard? The Chargers should stick with Franklin as their left guard, and keep Fluker as their right tackle.
So, the question arrises as to who should be targeted in the upcoming NFL Draft. Offensive guard Laken Tomlinson of Duke is a great option. He has quick feet, rolls his hips well and is a bulldozer in the run game. In Mike McCoy’s offensive system, running is a huge part of the gameplan. Adding Tomlinson potentially gives the team of the best run blocking lines in the league. One of his weaknesses is his consistency. He tends to be lethargic at times, but that can could be adjusted in the NFL. He is projected to go in the second round, and he could fall into San Diego’s hands. That leaves you with a first-round pick, which could possibly be used on a running back.
With these additions to the team, it gives you the perspective of the offensive line in 2015: King Dunlap, Orlando Franklin, Chris Watt, Laken Tomlinson, and D.J. Fluker. That is a very good offensive line.
How do you guys think the line will do? Who would you like to see drafted/signed? Let me know in the comments.
The San Diego Chargers are sitting at 5-7 and 3rd in the AFC West. A record that is even more saddening is our 1-4 record after the bye week. I put much emphasis on how important the stretch of games after the bye week are in order to be in position for the playoffs, and sure enough, we are only a game away from the second wild card spot. We are behind the 6-6 Ravens and Dolphins and tied with the Jets, Steelers, and Titans (who hold a tiebreaker over us) at 5-7.
San Diego will finish their season with three out of four more games at home with the Giants visiting “The Q” this Sunday and the lone road game being at Denver.
For the playoff hopefuls, I’m sure we need to win out to put ourselves in the post-season or, at worst, one more loss. For the high draft pick prayerful, you know what needs to happen, or what needs to not happen. For the impartial, AKA the lucky, enjoy the season.
Broncos starting LT Ryan Clady was injured in Sunday’s “Manning Bowl” in New York. Initial reports were a minor sprain and a 2 week out time. However, newest reports are saying that, after a more thorough inspection and diagnosis, Clady could be done for the season.
The Denver Post is reporting – click here for the DP article – that the Broncos front office staff is currently looking at their options including season ending IR.
This would be a huge blow for the Broncos. Clady is an All Pro LT and his backup, Chris Clark, has only started 6 games in his 4 year career and those starts came during the 2011 season. Peyton Manning will have significantly less time to work in the pocket with Clady not on the field.
More updates will surely surface soon.
I will be keeping this short and sweet. It appears as though I was wrong about the necessity to move on from Eddie Royal. After an injury-riddled, ineffective first year as a Charger in 2012, Royal has come out on fire in just two games by scoring an NFL-leading 5 touchdowns.
Who knew? Not this guy.
I have never had a problem admitting when I am wrong and it sure looks like I was wrong on this one. Although it has only been two games, his contribution in the infant stages of 2013 has been nothing short of amazing.
Considering the Charger Wide Receiving corp has taken quite a few blows, and felt another thud after the scary injury to the neck of Malcom Floyd, Royal has been a serious bright spot in what appeared to be a position of doubt.
I do not believe that anyone expects him to continue this torrid pace of racking up multiple scores each game, but I am looking forward to seeing him try. The rapport that he has with Philip Rivers is something that was missing in his playing time last season. Rivers certainly seems to trust him. If the Charger signal caller is comfortable looking to Royal to make plays, then who am I to have my doubts regarding the former 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft by the rival Denver Broncos.
Perhaps the fact that he is a former Bronco makes his early performance that much sweeter. It will be even better if he can put up these kind of numbers against his former team when the Chargers face the division-favorite Broncos.
In conclusion, I was wrong. This is not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.
A lot of big name free agents are finding their new homes in the AFC West. Our beloved San Diego Chargers are standing pat, preferring to add depth and build through the draft. Its hard to look at the names settling into Kansas City and Denver and not be concerned about the Chargers strategy.
Peyton Manning cruised into Denver this past season and propelled the Broncos into the number one seed in the AFC West, highlighted by a ten game winning streak to finish the season. In the offseason, the Broncos continue to add weapons. The major coup is the acquisition of slot receiver Wes Welker from New England. They also added DT Terrance Knighton from Jacksonville and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in addition to swiping OG Louis Vasquez from the Chargers. The Broncos have added big names to offense and defense in addition to weakening a division rival in a primary need area. The Broncos are also currently in the mix to bring in DE Dwight Freeney from Indianapolis.
Kansas City inexplicably went 2-14 last season, a season that looked promising with the return of feature back Jamaal Charles, TE Tony Moeaki, and S Eric Berry; all of whom missed the season before with devastating injuries. The Chiefs failed to live up to their potential despite sending six players to the Pro Bowl last season. In the offseason the Chiefs decided quarterback Matt Cassel was not the answer and signed free agent QB Alex Smith of the 49ers, expendable after the meteoric rise of Colin Kaepernick. The Chiefs have also added CB Sean Smith, TE Anthony Fasano, DB Dunta Robinson, WR Donnie Avery and QB Chase Daniel.
The Oakland Raiders…remain the Oakland Raiders. Their biggest free agent signing has been OLB Kevin Burnett. They have been busy letting their few good players go. CB Michael Huff, WR Darius Heyward-Bey, P Shane Lechler have all been shown the door and quarterback Carson Palmer is on his way out as well. The punchline is the Raiders are kicking the tires on the return of…Vince Young?
So, for at least two of the other three teams in the division, lots of heavy hitters and impact players are signing up while the Chargers are content with CB Derek Cox as the only sure fire starter signing. Are the Chargers right to follow this path? Consider these observations.
The Raiders deserve no consideration. The Chargers have beaten the Raiders 15 out of their last 17 games with the only aberration being a Raiders sweep in 2011. The beatings will continue. Vince Young. Nuff said.
Even with the return of their injured Pro Bowlers, Kansas City was an abject failure, unable to execute in any facet of the game. Cassel was terrible, eventually losing his job to Brady Quinn. Charles has a nice comeback season but was missing in the box score some games. The Chiefs were swept by the Chargers by a total combined score of 68-33. The Chiefs have to overhaul their team and they’re starting by signing every free agent who will get on a plane. To Kansas City, San Diego is the Joneses. Forget Denver, KC must revamp the lineup just to keep up with the Chargers!
In Denver, the rich get richer. Peyton Manning is gifted the most dangerous slot receiver in Welker. Manning had the most completions to the slot receiver of any quarterback in the league which could make Welker even more lethal than he was in New England. Cromartie and Knighton were once bigger names than they are now but they are names fans know. Freeney’s best days are behind him but Manning wants him in Denver and usually what Peyton wants, Peyton gets. Signing Vasquez had the dual purpose of adding even more protection to an already sturdy Broncos offensive line while weakening the Chargers even more at their most vulnerable position.
Denver has ascended to the top of the division and are the team to beat. Lots of flashy names are rolling by but the Chargers are still the team to challenge them for the division. Even with their many shortcomings, the Chargers were one dropped pass, one failed 4th and 29 stop and one helmet to helmet hit from being a ten win team last season. That’s not considering the Monday Night meltdown in San Diego against the Broncos. The Chargers dominated the Broncos to the tune of 24-0 at halftime before the wheels fell off and Denver ran off five unanswered touchdowns in the second half. The Broncos only won the second game by a touchdown. More importantly, losing DE Elvis Dumervil and OLB DJ Williams can have an adverse effect on the defense that allowed the Chargers 23.5 points against them last season.
The point in this diatribe is do not be distracted by all the flashy cars passing us on the highway headed to Denver and Kansas City. The Chargers are taking the right approach. The Chargers are still the second best team in the AFC West. General Manager Tom Telesco is plodding along and adding solid, versatile players undaunted by the high volume of signings in the division. Beware the “Dream Team” style rash of big name signings going to one team ala the 2011 Eagles. This could be one more example of the tortoise (Telesco) catching the hare (Elway).
As most of you know by now, Wes Welker has joined forces with Peyton Manning and an already potent Denver passing attack. The Chargers are not the only team to look at this as a big problem in regards to game planning for the Broncos’ offense.
However, the AFC West will be facing the juggernaut offense twice a year. The receiving corps was already a strength of the Denver squad. Now it has received a serious upgrade with the addition of Welker.
Although the offensive line remains the biggest area of need in San Diego, the secondary has now become a very close second. It is common knowledge that the Chargers were in need of shoring up the secondary prior to Welker’s acquisition. The level of pressure to do so has now been raised another notch.
The Bolts did sign Derek Cox, a former Jacksonville Jaguar cornerback, to man one of the cornerback positions. That being said, there is still a need for another cornerback via free agency or the draft. It goes without saying there is a huge question mark at the strong safety position. Brandon Taylor tore his ACL at the end of 2012 and was hardly active during last year’s games.
The impetus on improving the secondary has been raised significantly. Look for there to be at least two more additions via free agency and at least one via the draft.
Thanks a lot for reading.